Santorini

The ferry pulled into the harbor at dawn, and they watched the sun rise behind the cliffs. The craggy bluffs of Santorini towered over them, exposing layers of black, white, and gray earth, all streaked with dark red, as if sprinkled with powdered blood. She outlined the harbor with her eyes. When he told her he would bring her here, she bought a book about the island. So she knew, as she looked out at the sea, that the island used to be round, that she was not overlooking a body of water but a submerged volcanic crater, flooded centuries ago by a catastrophic eruption. What are you thinking? he asked. About the earthquake, she said. He was looking at her hand. You have a tan line, he said. She glanced down at her ring finger, at the thin white line, just a shade paler than her hands, a tiny sliver of skin that hadn’t seen the sunlight for nearly a decade, now newly exposed. She hadn’t taken off the ring until they were on the ferry. She was afraid she’d bump into her husband, or someone else she knew, before she could get to the airport. So she’d worn it on the flight to Athens, as she’d worn it for the nine years of her marriage, through every fight, through every restraining order. She’d worn it when he broke her fingers in the door of his Mercedes, when he’d burned her palm with a lit cigar.  But last night, on the ferry, as she watched the sleeping face of her rescuer, she slipped the ring off. Later, in...